21st December 2019, New Delhi, India
Received the prestigious national level journalism award during United Nations supported Youth Ki Awaaz Summit in New Delhi and my article on Shirui Lily and the danger of its possible extinction was adjudged the Best Article of 2019. The award was presented by Founder of Youth Ki Awaaz India's number one citizen journalism platform with 1,00,00,0 contributors, Mr. Anshul Tewari, an Ashoka Fellow.
For this article on the state flower of Manipur, a picturesque state in north eastern part of India inhabited by 37 ethnic communities, I travelled into remote rural regions within the state in Ukhrul district, met and interviewed different segments of people, scientists, village elders and chairman of village authority and government representatives to draw out an analysis on the cause of decline in its growth. It was an eye- opening experience to see how the scientists and research institutions and the government, each were working in silo without consulting each other. I am glad to assert that media plays a big role in facilitating convergence, in bringing about political will and binding from the community on the issue. I am thankful to the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur, the community in Ukhrul, the scientists in ICAR, my driver who did not complain of travelling from morning till night and Youth Ki Awaaz for the platform to spread awareness on what's needed to save the Shirui Lily.
Urmila Chanam is a World Pulse Voices of Our Future or Advanced Digital Empowerment Training Alumni, Featured Storyteller and Featured Changemaker.